‘3’, or as we call it The return of the Netsky, is a beautiful soundtrack for this summer that is about to start. We could definitely doubt of Netsky‘s fantasy during brainstorms, given that his previous albums are called ‘Netsky‘ and ‘2‘, but what really matters is if it’s bigger on the inside. And the content of this LP is just truly amazing! Fame and glory didn’t spoil Boris Daenen‘s fantasy and composing skills, that range, as usual, from the pure liquid to the funky-soul sounds, sometimes fusing together as one. For sure, we can say that when someone thinks about Liquid Drum & Bass, Netsky is the first name that rushes to his mind, and this album will remember you why, but it will also be a cool surprise in certain parts of it!
It starts with 3 (coincidence?) very nice and catchy liquid tracks, Thunder, Work it out and Rio. Actually, we’ve all heard Rio many and many times so I won’t lose much time on it, but for what concerns the other two, I have one word: amazing. Thunder sets perfectly the mood for the entire LP, and Work it out keeps it up just like Memory Lane did in the previous album (which by the way is one of my favourite liquid tracks ever). Then comes Rio, the banger hit, that everybody following the liquid scene knows about because every DJ played it this year when there was the occasion. The trumpets add style to the whole thing, and after three songs you’re already went bananas. Later during the album comes Who Knows, another very cool liquid song, that even if is the 4th in ranking among the mentioned ones, is still a very decent track. Hey, did you feel the earthquake?
There comes Leave it alone. This song is quite nice, has a good vibe, and breaks down a while from liquid’s speed. Actually, it represents the second soul of this album, which is the funky one. And when I say funky, I mean real funky, 70’s with elephant jeans, curly afro hair and shake-that-ass attitude. This really surprised me at the first listen but, on a second and third listen, it’s really cool. Puts you in a vibe that you’ll hardly shake off. And that’s ok, am I right? This vibe is conserved in TNT, Go 2 and High Alert, and really makes the whole album very likely to be listened to.
At the end of Go 2, a little and fast drum and bass breakdown surprises the listener during that chill song, and even if we are now discussing about taste and tastes are non-debatable, that was weird and nice at the same time for me. Checkmate, purists! And on the top of that, the album ends with a song, Higher, which has around 130 bpm of speed (typical of house-like genres) but drum and bass sounds and a trap-style like voice. I think that somebody messed up with some weed before a very high jam session there…
In the beginning, I mentioned that the two souls of funky and liquid sometimes fuse. This is the case of songs like Stay up with me, which is slower (~150 bpm) than the usual liquid (~174 bpm) but still keeps the hihat pattern and the drums that make liquid drum and bass typical. Plus, it adds some vocals that remind of the other songs of the funky-soul chunk of the album (like High Alert). The slow rhythms of this song are kept also later on in Forget what you look like, a song that really fits when you want to listen just one quiet song without losing the drum and bass mood. There is also space for some old school mood in here. Bird of paradise brings up some goldie-like drum riffs, added to violins that make the whole thing classy. Good job Netsky, you didn’t forget where you come from and that’s good, because drum & bass is a community that is proud of its origins and proud to show them off and tribute the gods of this culture.